Just hours before the start of 2022, America — the world, really — was hit with the devastating news that legendary actress and comedian Betty White, America’s grandmother and friend, had died at the age of 99, roughly a week before her 100th birthday.
While nothing about her death was suspicious, Fox News reported this week that unbeknownst to most at the time of her death, White had actually suffered a stroke six days prior to her passing.
As TMZ noted, White’s official cause of death was listed as due to a “cerebrovascular accident,” which is medical terminology for a stroke.
TMZ broke the news after reportedly obtaining a copy of the late star’s death certificate.
It should be noted that while the stroke was listed as the event that would eventually lead to her death, White’s agent and close friend, Jeff Witjas, told Fox this week that White passed peacefully in her sleep, and without suffering.
“I was told that Betty passed in her sleep peacefully without pain,” Witjas said. “To me, that is the most important thing and brings me comfort as her dear friend.”
Witjas, in an earlier interview, shut down rumors that White might have had complications from receiving a COVID-19 booster shot three days prior to her passing, which is reportedly false, as it was reported that she did not receive the booster shot.
“Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home. People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier, but that is not true,” Witjas told People magazine.
He added: “She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized — that is not the life she lived.”
Tributes poured in
Not surprisingly, White’s death set off a tsunami of tributes, from virtually every celebrity in Hollywood, and thousands — if not significantly more — of Americans who enjoyed White’s long and successful career of entertaining the world.
High-level politicians, including President Joe Biden, also paid tribute to White, tweeting, “Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.”
While her official cause of death doesn’t make her passing any less heartbreaking, it’s safe to say that White lived the ultimate life of bringing smiles and laughter to this country when it was needed the most. She will certainly be missed, and never forgotten.